This picture gets me thinking back to the days when lawn furniture consisted of chairs and a table carried outside to entertain guests on a fine day. It was taken at the Readington Township farm my grandparents, Joseph and Zofia Sczcerba Mirota, owned in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. It has 1937 written on the back. I love how my grandmother is looking up affectionately at my grandfather. The water pitcher he’s holding can be seen in other photos hanging on the white picket fence surrounding their front yard and garden. Babcia (Zofia) would have been about fifty-eight years old and my grandfather fifty-five.
The identity of the two lady guests in this photo are a mystery. I have one other photo taken on this day. In that one my grandfather is pouring a drink for another gentleman that looks to be about his age. I like how formal the two men are dressed, since that’s how I remember my grandfather dressing for company or church.
The day looks to be one in late summer, similar to the hot and sunny one today. The sort of day when you just want to slow down and sit for a spell with family and friends, exchanging the news and catching up.
The ladder in the first photograph leans against one of the fruit trees at the edge of the orchard. I can see the grape trellis and remember the intoxicating smell of fruit and hay, and the bees buzzing around searching for the hives. Farmers like my grandparents worked hard seven days a week, but they also took time to sit and relax and enjoy the beauty of the land that nourished them. I can just picture the scene and hear the group conversing in Polish. Cheers, or in Polish Na zdrowie!